What do people say about you?
When your name comes up in conversation do people talk with respect or do they trash your brand?
We all want positive word of mouth about our products, services, issues or causes. Yet the irony is few Australian organizations use word of mouth marketing as part of their marketing mix?
That’s why you should read Andy Sernovitz’s new book Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking.
Word of mouth marketing has been around forever, beginning when people first saw the value in sharing information and warning others about risky situations.
Word of mouth is about genuine conversations where people exchange ideas, criticisms and endorsements. And it is becoming increasingly important given the tsunami of invasive advertising hitting us each day. Sernovitz argues ‘traditional marketing is no longer the safe way to go. It may make you comfortable but it is becoming gradually less and less effective for more and more companies.'
Organic word of mouth is the range of genuine conversations people have among themselves each day. They share information on what to buy, what to wear, where to work and countless other topics with friends, family, classmates, workmates and team mates. Organisations can encourage organic word of mouth by providing quality services, listening to people and responding to their issues and continually freshening conversations by bringing in new programs, products, faster turn around times, etc.
Organisations use amplified word of mouth when they deliberately set out to create positive talk about their products or services. This often involves seeking out people with influence with the specific intent of inviting them to start conversations within their networks. And organizations can accelerate this type of word of mouth by moving it online where, through a keyboard or mobile device they can engage either individuals or specific groups.
Amplified word of mouth marketing can also be encouraged by creating online communities where people swap ideas and experiences, encouraging others to promote what you do and using advertising or media coverage to strategically prime the pump and start conversations.
Andy Sernovitz’s book details the topics, talkers, tools and tracking needed to make word of mouth succeed. It is a must read for those of us on limited budgets looking to communicate with impact.